Stockholm's National History Museum is the place to visit to learn about the earliest history of the Swedish people. One of the museum's most popular exhibits is all about the Vikings. These Norsemen, at one time, struck fear into the hearts of the people of Europe. This exhibit presents the military aspects of Viking culture while also emphasizing the fact that most Vikings were simple farmers and herders. The museum's other notable exhibit is the Gold Room containing some of the gold jewelry and gold objects that belonged to Swedish Royalty.
The Vasa Museum is often voted as the top attraction in Sweden. This museum is essentially a complete display of the salvaged Swedish sailing vessel called Vasa. This vessel sank on its first voyage in the early 1600's. However, in 1961, the vessel was salvaged, and, in 1990, a fine museum was constructed to display this important piece of maritime history. Items from the ship's interior are also displayed. Guided tours of the complex are available.
Great Britain isn't the only European nation with a royal family. The official residence of the Swedish royal family is located in Stockholm. Visitors are allowed in the Palace on the days when the royals aren't in residence. At the Palace, visitors can see the Royal Apartments, the Royal Chapel and view the changing of the guard.
Next door to the Royal Palace is the magnificent Stockholm Cathedral. The Cathedral is the church of the royal family and used for all official state ceremonies. Stockholm Cathedral is noted for its interior beauty, especially its silver and ebony altar, and for its statue of Saint George slaying a dragon said to contain the actual remains of Saint George inside.
Another favorite attraction in Stockholm is Skansen. Skansen consists of both an open-air museum and a zoo. The open-air museum is a re-creation of a Swedish village, as it would have appeared in the 1800's. This museum also includes actors who play the role of village residents and engage in traditional occupations and dress in traditional Swedish garments. The zoo at Skansen is noted for its collection of Nordic animals including wolverines, mink, wolves and European bison. There is also a large collection of native Swedish species of domestic farm animals including Skane geese, Linderod pigs and Gotland sheep.